Tony liked this more than the sex. Or, at least, as much but differently. Lying on his back, staring at the ceiling in the dark as he carded his hands through his lover’s hair. The short, prickly silver strands on the back of the man’s head teasing all of those super-sensitive nerve endings in his fingers.
They could only do this in the winter months, which in DC, thankfully, was at least six, when it was cool enough for prolonged skin-to-skin contact. And only two nights a week – Tuesdays, the night when Tony liked to watch that show about the Navy cops and yell out all the things that were totally not realistic, and Gibbs liked to watch Tony get riled up; and Fridays, when they could sleep in the next day and sometimes the sleeping in managed to take up the whole day and then it was night again and Gibbs might as well stay till morning since there wasn’t enough time to get much done at home anymore.
It was always at Tony’s – too many people coming and going at Gibbs’s place, Gibbs insisted. You never knew when some fed or some lawyer or some wayward ex-marine would just pop up in his living room, and he wasn’t willing to risk getting caught. They were both clear on the consequences of that. Not that they couldn’t do the gay thing, because it was okay to be gay, these days, and how amazing was it to live in a world where that was suddenly true—or at least trying to be true—Tony found himself wondering, some of these nights, staring at his ceiling. But gay or straight, fraternization was strictly forbidden – date within your rank, maybe, but never your boss. Or anyone else directly above you in the chain of command. Sorry, Vance. Or below you. Sorry, Probie. Neither Gibbs nor Tony was willing to risk the other’s career and so it was Tony’s place, twice a week, if cases didn’t intervene. And Gibbs even said, even though Gibbs never mentioned this, he voluntarily brought up the fact that he would soon hit the age limit for a field agent, and they could be more open about it then—if Tony still wanted to, said with the kind of gruffness meant to cover vulnerability.
A siren sounded in the distance, and Gibbs stirred, dislodging the slightly moist suction between his cheek and Tony’s chest. Tony smiled and whispered, “It’s okay, J. It’s not for us.” Gibbs expelled a deep breath through his nose, ruffling the hair on Tony’s chest, then settled again. Tony’s fingers resumed their hypnotic rhythm on Gibb’s scalp. Up the neck, over the back of the skull, brush the scar tissue above the left ear, a swirl of fingertips and then back down again. Tony had always had trouble sleeping—a side effect, no doubt, of his manic mind that bounced around like it was filled with pinballs or monkeys or perhaps monkeys playing pinball. He hated to be alone with his thoughts, in the dark, quiet, nights where any memory could crop up to remind him of past moments of idiocy. So he was grateful for these two nights a week, with Gibbs weighing him down like a storm anchor, breath hot against his skin, close-cropped hair tingling the nerve receptors in his hand for all they’re worth, keeping Tony away from the rocky shores looming in the darkness. And even if he didn’t sleep, at least he could rest.